Things to do in Akrotiri

Things to do in Akrotiri

You’ve planned to come to Akrotiri for your vacation but you can’t settle on an itinerary because there are just so many things to do at Akrotiri. 

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a sun-seeking beachgoer, or an adventurer in search of panoramic views, you are bound to find something to your liking. 

This article is going to be your ultimate guide about where to go and how to make the most out of your trip to one of the best destinations in the world! 

Make Your Way Through Ancient History 

Apart from being a beautiful place to be, Akrotiri is a goldmine for history enthusiasts and a nice surprise for regular travelers. 

Here you get the unique opportunity to look at well-preserved ruins that seem right out of a historical moment. The top places to visit to experience this would be the following: 

Akrotiri Archaeological Site

The Akrotiri Archaeological Site is located within Akrotiri and offers accurate representations of the historical sites of the Minoan era. It is a unique opportunity to witness a flourishing ancient city frozen in time.

You will get to see some existing buildings, preserved pottery, and ceramics, along with some paintings of that time. This well-preserved archaeological site showcases the advanced urban planning and architecture of that era. 

Opening Hours 

The Archaeological Site is accessible from 8 am to 8 pm from April to October but the timings reduce to 3 pm in the winter months.

It’s often closed on Monday according to some sources. Also, it can be closed during certain holidays like Christmas or New Year. 


For the site individually, tickets can cost €12 per person but are decreased to €6 for the elderly and for those under 21. 

Something to note is that for €15 you get 3-day access to the Archaeological Site of Akrotiri, the Archaeological Site of Ancient Thera in Kamari, and the Prehistoric Museum of Thera in Fira. 

Museum of Prehistoric Thera

The Museum of Prehistoric Thera is an extension of the Archaeological Site and is a more well-polished but still accurate picture. It’s located about 11km away from the Site. 

It’s a two-story building that holds a number of artifacts, frescoes, and materials from that era. The well-preserved artifacts, including pottery and sculptures, create a vivid picture of Santorini’s historical significance.

You can roam around on your own or get a guided tour by a professional. The latter can significantly enhance your overall experience and understanding of the historical and cultural significance of the displays. 

Opening Hours 

It’s open from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm from April to October but is closed in winter months and on special holidays. Also, it’s closed on Tuesdays. 


The ticket costs €6 for the museum but for €15 you get a pass to three sites as mentioned above. 

Akrotiri Lighthouse  

Another piece of history in Akrotiri is the Akrotiri Lighthouse which was built in 1892 then later recomissioned in 1945. Currently, it reaches a height of 10 meters and is equipped with automatic controls.

Not only is it a historical masterpiece, but the Akrotiri Lighthouse also offers an unparalleled viewpoint for capturing the beauty of Santorini from the southern tip of the caldera. 

Opening Hours 

There are no specific hours, you can go whenever you want. 


It doesn’t have a ticket system as it is open to everyone. 

Akrotiri Castle 

Akrotiri Castle is not only a testament to the island’s history but also a vantage point for some of the most spectacular sunsets in Santorini. 

It is open to everyone at any time which means you can go around the entire tower and explore around. Once you reach the top, the views are stunning and the beauty is magnified if you happen to be there at sunset. 

Opening Hours 

It’s accessible around the year. 


Same as the Akrotiri Lighthouse, there is no ticket system here. 

Other Museums 

If you want to explore the island’s history further then fortunately, there are other museums all over Santorini such as the Archaeological Museum in Fira, the Folklore Lignos Museum in Kontohori, and the modern Lost Atlantis Museum in Megalochori. 

For more details on these, read our article on Santorini’s museums here. 

Roam Around the Beautiful Beaches 

Now, that the historical aspect is covered, we would be remiss not to include the spectacular beaches in a list of things to do at Akrotiri. 

We do have an article dedicated to the many Akrotiri Beaches so we’ll only be covering the basics here.

Red Beach 

The most popular and unique beach found on the island is the Red Beach. It gets its name from the red stones that make up the cliffs around it which came about due to a volcanic eruption. 

It’s sometimes called the pink beach as the reddish hues can look pink on camera. 

An important disclaimer is that it’s not deemed safe by the authorities as there is a high risk of land sliding and high tides so if you want to go, do it at your own risk and follow the safety guidelines. 

White Beach 

The White Beach is a serene place as it’s in a secluded area and is only accessible by sea from the Red Beach. 

This beach also gets its name due to the color of the cliffs surrounding it. Tall, jagged white cliffs protect this beach while black pebblestones line the shore.  

While it isn’t as much of a security risk as the Red Beach, it’s still advised to practice caution and stay vigilant. 

Caldera Beach 

Another popular beach that you might have seen pictures of is the Caldera Beach which looks like a caldera – a depression filled with water. 

You can swim, snorkel, and even scuba dive here! It’s also a fairly peaceful place compared to other tourist spots around the island. 

Explore Religious Sites 

There are several churches lined around Akrotiri that can be of interest. Some of the noteworthy ones include: 

  1. Panagia Kalamiotissa Church is located near the Akrotiri Lighthouse in a blue and white color typical of churches around the area. 
  2. Church of Saint Eleftherios also near the Akrotiri Lighthouse is a small one with no domes but the same, blue and white decor. 
  3. St. Epifanios Traditional Orthodox Church near the Akrotiri Castle is a beautiful one with pyramid bells. 
  4. Panagia Flevariotissa Monastery is a small one near the castle. 
  5. Church of Agios Nikolaos near the Red Beach is a nice one as its white decor is a wonderful contrast against the red cliffs. 

When visiting these churches, it’s essential to be respectful of their religious significance. Some churches may have specific visiting hours or dress codes, so it’s advisable to check in advance or upon arrival. 

Stay at the Finest Places 

Akrotiri is a good place for accommodations if you want to travel around the area and want to be a little secluded since the major towns tend to be crowded. 

Expenses can be a consideration as well so you are more likely to find cheaper accommodations if you choose the hotel rooms that don’t necessarily come with a splendid view. 

Best Hotels 

Some of the top-rated hotels, in no particular order, include:

  1. Phos The Boutique is a luxury hotel with infinity pools and private terraces that offer a magnificent view of the caldera.
  2. Kokkinos Villas is another one with beautiful views and a view other amenities including breakfast and hot tubs.
  3. Santorini Princess Suites is also a luxurious space overlooking the caldera with a bunch of activities.
  4. Acroterra Rosa is a boutique hotel overlooking the caldera with a number of culinary and pool options. 
  5. Astarte Suites is another wonderful option that has an award-winning restaurant as well as the views we know and love. 

Ideally, prebook your hotels because you never know when there’s a crowd and you may not get a room. Check out the websites linked for further details on the specifications. 

If you are going through a travel agency, they might pair your package with a hotel so always cross-check with them. 

Have the Best Culinary Experience 

You’ve taken a trip to one of the most beautiful islands in Greece so it’s only fair to try their delicious cuisines. 

Some of the most popular dishes Santorini has to offer include: 

  • Moussaka – a dish consisting of layers of eggplant, minced meat, and tomatoes topped with béchamel sauce.
  • Fava – creamy dip is made from mashed yellow split peas paired with olive oil and served with chips.
  • Tomatokeftedes (or ntomatokeftedes) – fried tomato fritters made with Santorini’s flavorful cherry tomatoes. 
  • Souvlaki – small pieces of skewered meat (usually pork or chicken) that are grilled and served on top of a salad or pita bread.
  • Gyros – similar to souvlaki except this is sliced up meat wrapped in pita bread. 
  • Baklava – a dessert of layers of pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with honey or syrup.
  • Seafood – generally, Santorini has a lot of seafood to offer ranging from small taverns to large restaurants. 

Some of the best restaurants serving said dishes at Akrotiri are: 


  1. The Cave of Nikolas is a family tavern that serves fresh seafood.
  2. Asterias Santorini Waterfront Restaurant is located near Red Beach so it’s a picturesque spot to eat delicious food.
  3. Caldera Romantica is located near the caldera and offers a wide array of Mediterranean food.
  4. Melina’s Tavern is a family-run tavern near the beach that serves a lot of Greek food along with other options.
  5. The Good Heart is on the main road leading to the lighthouse and has a diverse menu along with some traditional Santorini items that you can purchase.
  6. Taverna Glaros near Red Beach offers a lot of homemade options ranging from main courses to wines. 

There are a bunch of others all over the island namely Roza’s, Rosemary, To Psaraki, Misteli, and more! You can also go on food tours that some companies offer around the island to explore other cuisines that you don’t normally try. 

For fine dining restaurants, you may want to look into a reservation in case a free table is not available when you show up. For taverns and other roadside places, you can just go whenever you want and enjoy their meals. 

Drink Delectable Wines 

If you don’t go on at least one wine tour when you visit then you’ve missed out on one of the best things to do at Akrotiri. They can be paired up with a sunset at the day’s end, some delicious dinner or lunch, sightseeing, and anything else you can think of. 

There are way too many to choose from ranging from a couple of hours to private tastings to a full day trip. You can go on guided wine tours with a group of people or choose to go to a specific vineyard and try their tours. 

Some of the best and most unique wines that the island has to offer are: 

  1. Assyrtiko – a crisp and earthy wine, the most popular one.
  2. Nykteri – rich, deep wine after a long time of fermenting. 
  3. Vinsanto – a sweet wine made after mixing a few grape varieties.
  4. Voudomato – a rare red wine consisting of fruity undertones. 

Figure out Your Transportation

Now that you have an idea of the things to do at Akrotiri, let’s discuss how you can go from one place to the other.  

There are a couple of options: 

Public Transportation 

Santorini offers a fairly well-connected system of buses that run at regular intervals known as the “KTEL Santorini Buses”. 

The central station for all the buses is the capital, Fira. Tickets can be purchased by cash only and can cost between €1.60 and €2.30 depending on where you are going. The fares on the night buses are higher and can go up to €3.0. Students can get a 25% discount while children and people with disabilities get a 50% discount. 

The bus schedule can change seasonally which you can check from here according to the time of the year you want to come. The major destinations are Fira, Oia, Akrotiri, Kamari, Imerovigli, Perissa, and a few more.

You can also hail a taxi but they are fewer in number and harder to come by. 

They are only useful if you want to travel from Akroitiri to other towns, not helpful for within Akrotiri. 

Traveling via Cars

You can either rent your own car or hire a driver. In either case, you will have to contact a rental agency. 

A few things to keep in mind are that you should be at least 21 years of age to drive (some may allow 18-year-olds), have your IDP if you are not from Europe, and have your credit card to rent a car. 

To get a more detailed view, you can look at our guide to Akrotiri car rentals

Miscellaneous Modes of Transport 

Others include quad rentals, hiking from one place to the other, or even riding animals like donkeys or horses. 

As for hiking, there are a few trails like to the Red Beach or to Ancient Thera. Generally, Akrotiri is a walkable town and you can visit most places at a walking distance. 

These can be really enjoyable ways to travel around but make sure you are taking care of the safety precautions around these and don’t ruin your adventure due to a mistake that could’ve been avoided. 

Make Your Trip Memorable 

We’ve discussed all the basics that you need to know when thinking about the things to do at Akrotiri but there is a couple of additional stuff that can be really fun. 

You can go on sailing Catamaran cruises that are packed with activities on the water. Other water-based fun include jet skiing, scuba diving, and windsurfing. 

There are also a number of guided tours, beach tours, wine tours, cooking classes, and photography tours that can be a great way to meet new people and do new things. 

Furthermore, there are hot springs and open-air cinemas around the island that people like to visit. There is a diverse range of activities that ensures there’s something for everyone! 

For popular activities, it’s advisable to book in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Other Towns To Visit From Akrotiri

Other than Akrotiri, the small towns around Santorini are also treasure troves in their own right. Let’s explore some of the major ones and discuss how they might add to your trip. 


Fira has something for everyone seeking cultural experiences, outdoor adventures, or simply a leisurely day of shopping.

Some well-known places at Fira are the Museum of Prehistoric Thera as mentioned above, the Three Bells of Fira, and the Caldera Walkway.

How to Get To Fira from Akrotiri 

The capital of the island, Fira is about 12km away from Akrotiri and takes around 20 mins to reach by car or taxi.

There’s also a bus going directly from Akrotiri to Fira for about €2. We also have an in-depth article on getting from Akrotiri to Fira here.


Oia is a town known for its picturesque sunsets. Most pictures you might have seen from Santorini with the tall, white-washed houses, and blue domes are from Oia. 

To learn about some sea facts, you can also visit the Naval Maritime Museum. It showcases ship models, rare nautical instruments, and artifacts from Santorini’s maritime past. It’s open daily from April to October except on Tuesdays from around 10 am to 6 pm. Tickets go for €5 per person but you can get a student discount. 

Amoudi Bay, a tiny village below Oia is a great way to relax on the beach and experience beautiful sunsets. Oia is also known for its high-end shopping experience from clothes to jewellery along with some tempting ceramics and artwork. 

How to Get To Oia from Akrotiri 

Oia is around 25km away and takes about 45 minutes to reach by car. The bus doesn’t go directly – first, you’ll have to drop off at Fira then take another bus to get to Oia. 


Compared to the other two, Imerovigli is a relatively serene place. Its height gives it the chance to show some beautiful panoramic views of the entire island. 

Skaros Rock is an iconic landmark at Imerovigli as it was once the site of a medieval castle. You can explore the rock terrain over the course of an hour and see the views when you reach the top. 

Another popular spot is the Church of Panagia Malteza with its distinctive blue dome and bell tower with four bells.

How to Get To Imerovigli from Akrotiri 

Imerovigli is a little further from Fira so it’s around 15km or half an hour ride away from Akrotiri. Again, there isn’t a direct bus stop so you’ll have to stop at Fira then get another bus. 

Perissa and Kamari

These are two separate towns but similar since they are located on the island’s eastern side and are connected to some of the most beautiful beaches. 

Both Perissa and Kamari offer a blend of natural beauty, historical exploration, and beachfront relaxation. They are especially well known for their black sand beaches. 

How to Get Here from Akrotiri 

These two are fairly close to Akrotiri around 10km away from the main village so you can get a car or taxi. While a bus is also an option, it’s not a smart one as it will take you to Fira or the Port first then to Perissa or Kamari. 

Also, another great option is to hike from any of Akrotiri’s places like Ancient Thera or Red Beach to Perissa or Kamari. 


Pyrgos is somewhat of an underrated place at Santorini. It boasts well-preserved Cycladic architecture with whitewashed buildings, blue-domed churches, and narrow winding streets.

At the heart of this town is the medieval castle of Kasteli, once the capital of Santorini. Climbing to the top will reward you with some beautiful panoramic views. 

How to Get To Pyrgos from Akrotiri 

Pyrgos is pretty close about 8km so it’s an easy ride from a car, taxi, or bike. You could also hike from Ancient Thera to Pyrgos. 

The buses are a little tricky for this route so it’s best to choose an alternative. 

That concludes the ultimate guide for things to do at Akrotiri. We hope that after reading this, you are more sure of what you want out of your trip. 

Whether you’re wandering through the archaeological site, lounging on the beach, or gazing at the sunset from the caldera, this place offers a rich tapestry of experiences waiting to be explored. 

For more information on specific topics, you can check out our blog